Bali

Coffee from the Indonesian island of Bali was formerly sold exclusively to the Japanese market. Perhaps it is the changing face of world economics that finds the first exports of Balinese coffee arriving in the United States. Based on how widely it is offered, it is still not clear how an island with very limited coffee areas produces so much coffee...in other words, it's not all from Bali. Also, there is very little coffee grown here at respectable altitudes, and at lower than 1250 meters tends to taste very low grown in the cup.

But sometimes Bali coffees can be sophisticated and well-prepared. They are washed (wet-processed) like neighboring coffees from Java, East Timor and Papua New Guinea. The cup has traces of the earthy Indonesian island character, but only in the background. It is a classic, clean cup, with great body and mildness.

Some background: In terms of island history, the colonial phase came late for Bali. Though the Dutch were there back in the 1850's, an important event in the of history of Bali is the landing of Dutch troops at Sanur beach in the year 1900. This led to the complete conquering of the island by the Dutch and the defeat and ritual suicide of some of the most prominent princely families. After the Japanese occupation during the Second World War from 1939 to 1945, Bali became a province of Indonesia, but managed to maintain a separate, specifically Balinese culture. For instance, the dominant religion in most parts of Indonesia is Islam, whereas in Bali it is Hinduism.

Geographically Bali is dominated by a number of volcanic mountains in the center of the island. The most active one of them is Gunung Agung whose violent eruption in 1963 killed a large number of people and caused a lot of devastation in the eastern areas. The island is ringed by coral reefs; the beaches in the south have white sand, the beaches in the east and north have black (volcanic) sand. Bali has a population of around 3 million. The predominant form of agriculture is wet-rice cultivation, but there are also large fruit plantations in the east of Bali, as well as corn fields and coffee plantations.

The majority of the population is still made up of farmers, but tourism and associated businesses (such as manufacture and sales of souvenirs, etc.) are becoming more and more important. You should know that the economic circumstances and the standard of living for the majority of the Balinese population are quite modest, and that a lot of people are, even by Indonesian standards, actually very poor.

We currently offer these unroasted coffees:

Bali Bangli Kintamani
$5.55
$10.55
$24.14
Harvesting in Kintamani, Bali
Arrival dateJanuary 2014 Arrival
Appearance.6 d per 300 grams, 15-18 Screen
Grade16+ Screen
ProcessingWet Process (Washed)
RegionBangli & Kintamani
Varietal(s)S-795, Various
Intensity/Prime attributeMild Intensity / Basic sweetness, nutty, mild acidity
RoastCity+ to Full City+ will work well with this coffee
Well, it's been a LONG time, but Bali coffee is now back in stock. The last lots we sold were of the 'Monsoon' type, but this is a fully washed lot and we're pleasantly surprised by the relative sweetness in the cup. Often the samples we receive from Bali taste more like the packaging in which they've been stored than the coffee itself. Not the case here, and the farmers in the Bangli and Kintamani produce some interesting washed, dry-hulled coffees with relative cleanliness in flavor profile. Traditional farming methods are used in these regions including organic farming practices (though not certified), and a complex irrigation system based on terraced water management used to grow rice for over 1000 years.
This lot from Bali is very straight forward, with a basic sweetness and slight earth tones expected from the region. The dry fragrance has a sort of refined sugar sweetness, along with an herbaceous note. Hot water brings up the sweetness a bit as well as a roasted nut smell. It's fairly one-dimensional and is echoed on the break. Albeit a slightly low-grown tasting coffee, there's a definite sweetness to be found in the cup. Not complex by any means, but flavors of toffee and nut butter provide a fairly solid base of flavors. There's a green herb note too along with a slight astringency in the finish, but these elements settle down with some rest. An overall interesting addition to our list that cups best after about 48 to 72 hours rest.
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